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Twitter clean-up: Amitabh Bachchan loses over 4 lakh followers; Shah Rukh, Salman and Priyanka Chopra lose 3 lakh


The social media platform, Twitter, is on a sanitisation drive of removing fake followers from across profiles on its platform. 

Shriram Iyengar

 Actor Amitabh Bachchan's complaints against Twitter might get a little more vocal after the veteran star was rid of close to four lakh followers after Twitter's recent sanitisation programme.

After several complaints of fictitious accounts sharing unsolicited replies, fake messages through its platform, the social media company set out on a cleansing programme on Thursday. This has led to several prominent names in the industry losing their clout on the platform with Bachchan leading, followed by Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra who have all lost over three lakh followers each.

As of Thursday, Bachchan's follower count stood at close to 34.5 million, but since has dropped down to 34.1 million, The actor is not the only one to lose out. Even prime minister Narendra Modi has found himself fall from a count of 43.5 million followers to 43.1 million on Saturday.

In a statement on Thursday, Twitter had said the effort was: "This is another step to improve Twitter, and ensure everyone can have confidence in their followers."

In January this year, Bachchan had pulled up Twitter on reducing his follower count despite the regular use.

 

The actor did it again in May, complaining that his following does not seem to increase despite his "regular use".

The Sholay (1975) actor is not alone though. Shah Rukh, who has lost over 3,62,141 followers, while Salman Khan lost 3,40,884. Priyanka Chopra lost over three lakh followers, while Deepika Padukone lost two lakh followers in the clean-up.

Several regular celebrities on the platform noticed the drastic fall in numbers, and even shared it online. Actress Divya Dutta and director Onir were among the few to raise questions.

As Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's legal, policy and trust and safety lead, said in a blog post, "Follower counts are a visible feature, and we want everyone to have confidence that the numbers are meaningful and accurate. Over the years, we’ve locked accounts when we detected sudden changes in account behaviour. In these situations, we reach out to the owners of the accounts, and unless they validate the account and reset their passwords, we keep them locked with no ability to log in. This week, we’ll be removing these locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally. As a result, the number of followers displayed on many profiles may go down."

The Indian celebrities are not unique in their suffering. According to Time magazine, international pop star, Katy Perry has lost over two million followers on account of the recent clean-up, while Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber have lost over one million.

The clean-up though puts Shah Rukh on top of the Twitter list and a clear winner with 35.7 million followers, closely followed by Bachchan at 34.5 million. For now, the veteran actor has not given any response other than sharing a tweet that describes why the follower count has fallen.

It looks like Bachchan might need to up his Twitter game.